Christmas is here and it is a great time to exchange gifts and spend time with friends and family.
Christmas is also a time that is synonymous with overconsumption and overeating. It seems that every month, I read some alarming statistic about North Americans’ growing girth. A significant portion of us are now classified as obese.
Now there’s the term infobesity—the tendency to gorge oneself on information. British journalist John Naish used the term in his book Enough: Breaking free from the world of more. Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“It involves fighting—and here’s my own new word—infobesity, by restricting one’s data diet. There are compelling reasons. The glut of information is not only causing stress and confusion; it also makes us do irrational things such as ignore crucial health information. The British Government’s latest survey on our food-buying patterns shows that while we are given more information than ever about healthy eating, our consumption of fresh food has fallen…We are so wired to gather information that often we no longer do anything useful with it. Instead of pausing to sift our intake for relevance and quality, the daily diet of prurient, profound, confusing and conflicting information gets chucked on to a mental ash-heap of things vaguely comprehended. Then we rush to try to make sense of it all…by getting more.”
Many of us are overexposed to information. With social media proliferating and smart phone adoption skyrocketing, it’s now easier than ever to read blog posts on the go, see what your virtual friends are doing, and check out the latest videos on YouTube.
As professional communicators, I think we should all be mindful of not contributing to the deluge of information. For a related post, see Why Writing Less Can Offer More.